After cutoff: Bills still alive

It was an exciting week leading up to Friday’s cutoff for bills to be voted out of their original policy committee. To make it easy, we’ve listed all of the major bills we’ve been tracking. This is just a partial list; WSHA/AWPHD staff have reviewed more than 300 bills thus far.... Read More >>

Support more timely placements for hospital patients who need long term care

B 1854 would require the Medicaid managed care plans to assemble an adequate and appropriate network of covered SNFs. It would require the Washington State Health Care Authority to monitor and enforce timely and appropriate placement of patients in SNFs. It would also create an incentive to place patients at a SNF by creating new fees on the plan if it has not placed the patient in a reasonable amount of time.... Read More >>

Help patients get the care they want at the end of life

HB 1640 adds the option of allowing a notary to validate advance directives, and it allows witnesses to verify a patient's identity by looking at personal identification, such as a driver's license or passport. This gives patients more options to execute advance directives while maintaining important protections against fraud and abuse, helping to ensure patient care and wishes are aligned.... Read More >>

Ambulatory surgical facilities must protect patients

SB 5593 threatens patient safety by creating hospital-like facilities without any of the safety requirements the Washington State Legislature and other governmental and accrediting bodies have put in place for hospitals. The bill proposes to allow ambulatory surgical facilities to add “postsurgical care centers” to care for patients who require up to 72 hours of post-treatment care. There is an array of state or federal mandates for inpatients in community hospital settings to ensure the safety of any patient requiring care for a period of longer than 23 hours.... Read More >>

New reporting and oversight requirements threaten to stall community partnerships that maintain access to care

HB 1811 would create a significant burden for health care providers — not just for mergers and purchases, but for almost any kind of “material change,” including such things as contracted services. Despite the laws currently in place, this bill would institute a new process that would require complicated documentation and review.... Read More >>

Maintain flexibility in physician contracts

HB 1967 would place restrictions on the use of noncompete agreements, instead favoring increased use of alternatives, such as nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreements. While the legislation is predominately directed to the tech industry, these alternatives would not protect the investments hospitals and health systems make when they recruit physicians.... Read More >>

WSHA Legislative Testimony: February 13 – February 17, 2017

A list of bills WSHA is testifying on for the week of February 13-17, 2017.... Read More >>

Thank you for last week: February 6-10, 2017

We are very thankful for everyone who comes to Olympia to testify! Your testimony is essential for helping legislators and the public to understand the real impact of proposed legislation.... Read More >>

Budget: Cuts to Hospital-Based Clinics Could be $75 Million Per Year

The Health Care Authority recently provided WSHA with details on the proposed Governor’s budget cuts to hospital-based clinics. Under the proposal, the cuts would affect all services provided in off-campus hospital department locations, including hospital-based clinics.... Read More >>

Expanding Mental Health Capacity

HB 1546 and SB 5434 (companion bills) would allow general-acute care and freestanding psychiatric community hospitals to provide long-term, court-ordered mental health services. Currently, long-term mental health patients go to Eastern State Hospital and Western State Hospital, when there is a bed available. Patients could be better served when closer to home, communities and families. Patients transitioned out of care when close to home with community supports are less likely to be readmitted.... Read More >>

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